Chris Christie, NOOOOO!
Fudgeknuckles. You can never be happy with politicians as a libertarian—just when they look like they’re on the path to true limited government, free markets, and individual liberty, they come out with something stupid like this:
“I believe marriage should be between one man and one woman,” Christie said. “I wouldn’t sign a bill like the one that was in New York.”
That sound you are hearing is my head slamming into my desk at Warp Six.
I admit, I was becoming a fan of Chris Christie. The way he was socking it to the parasitical public unions in New Jersey was inspiring. Sure, he was not perfect—he probably could have cut back more in some areas—but considering political inertia, he was doing a tremendous job.
Naturally, while I’m feeling really great about this guy, he throws a social conservative curveball just to keep me a grumbling libertarian.
The article does state that he will push for civil unions in New Jersey, as if, “Well, he’s not so bad.” But it is, in fact, horrific: what Christie is saying is that he supports discrimination based on sexual orientation, a boundary that says “You are not like us, you cannot be like us, you cannot have the same rights and privileges as us.” That’s a very disturbing thought. What I don’t understand is how it meshes with the small government ethos of most conservatives. Let’s end regulation and meddling in the economy, let’s make government smaller, cheaper, and more efficient—but then try and wedge it into the bedroom?
The New York law was, in fact, a fantastic one. Not only did it legalize same-sex marriage, it also included a clause that permitted religious instititutions to “opt out.” The Catholic Church doesn’t have to sanctify gay marriages, though a couple could still easily get the secular marriage license. And that’s great: we find no trade-off between two aspects of individual liberty here, unlike with most government edicts which destroy one set of liberty by trying to promote another (usual false) one. Now personally, I would prefer if the government got out of marriage altogether, but since that’s not going to happen for some time, this is a substantial move in the right direction.
Chris Christie is wrong, plain and simple. It is not ethical to deny the right of marriage to anyone based on their sexual orientation. To do so runs completely counter to the small-government image he has been building lately. But then, I shouldn’t be surprised. Just—as usual—disappointed.